Compounds Based on “Port”
This post lists and defines compound words in which the second element is the word port, derived from the Latin word portare, meaning “carry.”
Airport, carport, heliport, and seaport refer to locations where the vehicles and vessels implied by the respective prefixes embark and return (and remain between uses).
To apport (literally, “carry to”) is to move or produce something through supernatural means, and an apport is something so moved. To comport (“carry with”) is to agree or to behave. (As with most but not all words featuring a prefix attached to port, the noun is formed by appending -ation.) Deport (“carry away”) usually refers to expelling a person to his or her home country. Disport has the same literal meaning but generally refers to amusement or diversion.
Sport is a truncation of disport that usually refers to athletic activities (originally engaged in for amusement as a respite from one’s routine). Sport can mean “engage in sport,” but as a verb it more often takes the place of wear in an emphatic sense (as in “He sported a new tie”), though it is also a synonym for jest or ridicule. As a noun, sport refers to an athletic activity, and the plural form denotes several or all such activities collectively. Sport has also been used as a friendly term for directly addressing a boy (as in the greeting “Hey, sport!”).
The adjectives sporting, sportive, and sporty have distinct connotations: Sporting means “suitable for sport,” usually in the context of hunting dogs, or may refer to gambling or to risk; in a scientific context, it means “tending to mutate freely.” (The adverbial form is sportingly.) Sportive refers to sporting events, usually those conducted on a field, but it may also have a connotation of “playful” or “wanton.” (The noun form is sportiveness, and sportively is the adverbial form.) Sporty pertains to sports or people or things associated with them (or to sports cars, so named because their design and performance are inspired by race cars). Sportiness is the noun associated with this term, and the adverbial form is sportily.
Export (“carry out”) and import (“carry in”) refer, as verbs, nouns, and adjectives, to goods brought into or send out from a country for sale elsewhere; in the context of computers, the terms denote movement of a file from one program to another.
Passport, the word for a document that authorizes travel to one country from another, derived from the notion of being able to pass, or gain entry to, a port when traveling by ship. By extension, it also pertains to permission to go somewhere or something that enables someone to achieve acceptance or entrance. To purport (“thoroughly carry”) is to claim, or to have the appearance of something, whether valid or not; the word can also be a synonym of intend or purpose. As a noun, purport refers to the gist or substance of something or to an implicit or explicit meaning.
Rapport (“carry back”) is a deep, understanding relationship between two people. Borrowed from French, in English it originally had the same meaning as report (“carry back”), which means “make a recorded, spoken, or written statement or summary” or “present an account or announcement”; a report is such a message. A reporter is a journalist who covers news (the act of reporting is also called reportage), and a court reporter records proceedings in hearings and trials. To report for duty is to show up at a designated place and time to carry out a responsibility, usually in the context of military service.
To support (“carry under”) is to help with emotional, financial, physical, or verbal assistance, to advocate or corroborate, or to hold up a structure. Support is also a noun describing such assistance (supportance and supportation are two obsolete variations), and a supporter is a person or thing that provides it.
Transport (“carry across”) means “convey from one place to another,” though it also has the aesthetic connotation of feeling rapturous emotion, and historically it refers to sending someone to an overseas penal colony as punishment. Someone who transports is a transporter. (The term has also been used in the Star Trek franchise to refer to a device that dematerializes and rematerializes matter to move it from one place to another.)
Transport is also a noun pertaining to a vehicle or vessel that carries people and/or things, a rush of pleasurable emotion, or a convict sent to a penal colony. The act of moving people or things, or a mode of doing so, is transport or transportation, and the quality of being able to be moved is transportability; something that can be moved is transportable.
Want to improve your English in 5 minutes a day? Click here to subscribe and start receiving our writing tips and exercises via email every day.
Recommended Articles for You
Subscribe to Receive our Articles and Exercises via Email
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our exercise archives, writing courses, writing jobs and much more!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!